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Pet Services 

If you have any questions regarding these services or wish to discuss treatment of your animal, please call us.



Puppies can be vaccinated from 8 weeks of age with a second injection 2 weeks later. To ensure full immunity you should wait a further week before allowing your puppy to mix with other dogs without the risk of contracting these diseases.  Vaccination protects against distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, parainfluenza and leptospirosis.

Yearly boosters are required to maintain immunity against these diseases.

We can also vaccinate against kennel cough (a contagious upper respiratory tract disease).  We advise you to have your dog/puppy vaccinated against kennel cough especially if you are booking them into kennels or intend to take them to dog shows/places where they may mix with lots of other dogs.


Kittens can be vaccinated from 9 weeks of age with the second injection 3 - 4 weeks later. Vaccination protects against cat flu and infectious enteritis.  A vaccine is also available for Feline Leukaemia Virus, which can be transmitted by fighting or even grooming.  FELV causes the cat's immune system to fail which causes secondary infections, tumours or death.

For full protection against these diseases, an annual booster vaccination is required.


Rabbits can be vaccinated for Myxomatosis from the age of 6 weeks with full immunity developing in another 14 days.  Myxomatosis causes blindness and difficulty eating and drinking. Death usually occurs within 12 days of infection.

A vaccination against Viral Haemorraghic Disease (VHD) is usually given from 10 weeks of age.  VHD is rapidly fatal to rabbits who come into contact with the disease.

Unfortunately vaccinations for myxomatosis and VHD cannot be given at the same time, a minimum of 14 days between vaccinations is required.  It is worth remembering this when considering vaccination timings.

Both of these distressing, deadly diseases can be eliminated through vaccination.

Annual booster vaccinations are required to maintain immunity.

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We recommend that all pets are microchipped to ensure an early return home in the event that your pet becomes lost.  Microchipping can also deter thieves looking to steal valuable, pedigree animals.

Microchipping involves the insertion of a small microchip under the skin of your pet, usually between the shoulder blades.  The microchip contains a unique 16 digit number which can be read by scanners at vets, local authority centres and most animal rescue centres.

This number can then be accessed on the national database where your contact details are stored.

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Neutering is an operation to either spay or castrate your pet.  If you do not intend to breed from your pet, we recommend having them neutered when they are young to avoid potential health problems in later life.

Neutering is usually a routine operation and your pet will be able to go home the same day.

Dogs - Males

Male dogs can be castrated from 6 months of age.

There are a number of benefits to castration of male dogs.  Aggressive behaviour is less likely in castrated dogs as they are no longer driven by testosterone to try and dominate the "pack" (i.e. your family).  Castration can also prevent overt sexual behaviour as entire dogs often seek an outlet for their sexual urges.

An unneutered dog may also stray after unneutered female dogs and become lost.

There are many health benefits to castration.  As the testicles are removed during the operation, there is no risk of testicular cancer in later life and the risk of other cancers which are testosterone responsive are much reduced.  Prostate problems as your dog gets older are also less likely if he has been castrated.

Dogs - Females

In many breeds there is no benefit in your bitch having its first season. However if you have a Doberman or an Old English Sheepdog let them have their first season before getting them spayed.  Researchers have found that letting the Doberman or Old English Sheepdog have their first season decreases the risk of incontinence in later life.  This is only the case with these 2 breeds.

Female puppies can be spayed from 6 months of age.  The first season occurs between 8 - 11 months of age.

If your puppy has had her first season, wait until 6 weeks after her season has finished before having her spayed.

The main benefit of having your puppy spayed is that she will be unable to get pregnant.  A litter of puppies may seem a good idea but there is no health benefit to your dog having a litter and remember, puppies take a lot of time and attention!

If you decide not to have her spayed, during her life your bitch will come into season approximately every 6 months.  She will drip blood from her vulva, attract entire male dogs and possibly, run away to find a mate.

Bitches that have been spayed before their 3rd or 4th season have a much lower chance of developing mammary tumours in later life than entire bitches.

During the operation the uterus and ovaries are removed, so there is no chance of these becoming cancerous in later life.

Some older, entire bitches develop a life threatening condition called "Pyometra" where the uterus becomes infected and full of pus.  This is an extremely serious condition which puts your bitch's life at risk and requires emergency surgery.

Cats - Males

Male cats can be castrated from 6 months.  Neutered male cats are less likely to stray than an unneutered Tom cat who may wander off looking for Queens with which to mate.  He is also less likely to fight other cats in the area in order to become "top cat" which would put him at risk of abscesses and other illnesses.  He will, of course, no longer be able to get females pregnant resulting in unwanted litters.

Cats - Females

It is very easy for unneutered female cats to become pregnant.  Female kittens are usually sexually mature from 6 months of age.  They will come into season approximately every 3 weeks until they become pregnant.

The operation involves the removal of the uterus and ovaries.

If your cat has had kittens, wait until the kittens are one month old before having the operation.

Rabbits - Males

Male rabbits can be castrated from the age of 16 weeks.  We recommend the castration of male rabbits to reduce difficult behaviour such as marking of territory with strong smelling urine, an aggressive attitude and mounting objects or owner's legs!  They will, of course, no longer be able to breed preventing many unwanted litters.  Castrated rabbits are more likely to live longer as they will no longer be fighting.  They will also be calmer and be an easier pet to handle.

Rabbits - Females

Female rabbits can be spayed from the age of 16 weeks.  As the uterus is removed, there is no longer a risk of uterine cancer, a disease which many older females develop.  Your female rabbit will also no longer be able to become pregnant.

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We recommend that both cats and dogs are treated regularly to prevent infestations of worms such as roundworms and tapeworms.  An animal with a worm infestation can suffer debilitation and health problems as well as potentially passing on the worms to other animals and species, including humans.

At Hatchmoor Veterinary Practice we recommend that puppies and kittens are wormed every 2 weeks until12 weeks of age, then every month until 6 months of age.  Adult dogs and cats should be wormed every 3 months.

Please speak to a member of our team who will be happy to advise you on the most appropriate wormer for your pet.

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Flea Treatment


It is important to treat your dog or cat for fleas to prevent discomfort and possible skin allergies.

Puppies and kittens can be treated for fleas from 8 weeks of age with Fipronil based spot-on or from 2 days of age with fiprinol based spray. Both products are in stock at the surgery and can be collected from us at any time. Your home may need treating with a household spray which we also stock at the surgery. All Sprays and spot on treatments only kill the adult flea, so regular treatment is essential to break the cycle.

 Spraying the house

It is obvious that it is not possible to control the flea population by only treating your pet and that by treating the home environment as well you can help break the life cycle of the flea.

Points to remember when spraying:

  1. Clean the house before spraying – do not clean or hoover for at least a week after spraying. (The spray needs to be left down long enough for the larvea to eat it).
  2. Keep doors and windows shut for half an hour after spraying.
  3. Spray every room in the house whether the animals go in there or not. (Eggs and larvea can be spread around the house on shoes and socks).
  4. Spray over the whole of the floor, round the skirting boards and any soft furnishings in the room – not the curtains.
  5. Stop and shake the can every 3 – 4 seconds to preserve the propellant.
  6. At times of high flea activity repeat the procedure after 4 – 6 weeks

 The Flea Life Cycle

The Egg - The egg is laid on the host but falls off within six to eight hours. It can end up anywhere. The egg can hatch into a larva within a few days, but can lay domant in the house for up to 10 years!

 The Larva - The larva is an active grub which feeds on debris. After nine to fifteen days the larva weaves a cocoon and becomes a pupa.

The Pupa- The pupa matures to adulthood in the cocoon. The flea usually emerges in about a fortnight but can remain at this stage for years.

 The Adult -Vibrations caused by the presence of a dog, cat or human stimulate the adult flea to emerge from the cocoon. It immediately seeks a host in order to take the first of its many blood meals. Two or three days after her first blood meal, an adult female flea starts laying eggs. She may lay up to 600 in her lifetime. The egg to egg cycle can, be as short as three weeks.

Warm weather and centrally heated homes, create an ideal environment for the fleas to breed throughout the year, and the use of fitted carpets and double glazing are ideal to protect the larvae and pupae.

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